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Okuama Killings: Oborevwori warns traditional rulers against shielding suspects



Gov. Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta has charged traditional rulers not to shield suspects involved in the killing of four military officers and 13 soldiers in Okuama community, Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state.

Oborevwori gave the charge on Thursday when he addressed traditional rulers in the state on the unfortunate incident at the State Traditional Rulers’ Council Secretariat in Asaba.

He said that the act was alien to the state, describing it as “barbaric, inhumane and unacceptable” and vowed that those who committed the evil act must be made to face the full wrath of the law.

He said that no kingdom should shield the perpetrators of the dastardly act, adding that Delta was governed within the tenets of the rule of law and human decency.

“On the February 7, we summoned the people of Okoloba and Okuama communities in Bomadi and Ughelli South Local Government Areas including the members representing the two constituencies in the State House of Assembly.

“We also invited the Council Chairmen and their Presidents-General where we advised them that a lot has been happening in their area and they signed a peace accord.

“The killing of these Army Officers and soldiers came as a rude shock to us and when this thing happened, I immediately called the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Army Staff because I was in Abuja.

“I came back and issued a press statement.

“On Monday, I went to Bomadi to meet with all the security chiefs, where we had our security council meeting and I got briefings from the Brigadier Commander.

“In attendance was the General Officer Commanding 6 Division Nigeria Army, Maj Gen Jamil Abdussalam and the JTF Commander, Rear Admiral John Okeke,” Oborevwori said.

He added, “after the meeting, I went to Abuja to meet with Mr. President to brief him on what happened.

“I also went to see the Chief of Army Staff to discuss with him. I also met with the National Security Adviser and the Inspector General of Police.

“I felt that it is also proper that I brief you people even though you may be aware. Those people who committed that evil act must face the wrath of the law.

“No kingdom should shield those criminals because Delta state is governed by the tenets of the law and human decency.

“We cannot tolerate that. It has never happened in this state; to kill one Lt. Colonel, two Majors, one Captain and 13 Soldiers. We need to fish out those involved. Do not hide or shield anybody.”

He said that the Chief of Army Staff and Mr President had assured that innocent people would not be victimised.

“Unless you connive with the killers of the soldiers.

“I have briefed you and make sure that you fish them out from your kingdoms. If any traditional ruler shields a criminal, that traditional ruler is inviting trouble.

“We did not bargain for this evil act but for peace, I don’t want crisis. I have also received information that two other villages are boiling to fight, they should not fight, we want peace in all our communities,” he said.

Responding, Chairman, Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Maj. Gen. Felix Mujakperuo, (Rtd), said that they were on same page with the governor to ensure peace and security in the state.

He, however, called for a judicial panel of enquiry to unravel the immediate and remote cause of the crisis, adding that the security of various kingdoms would dovetail to the security of the state and the nation.

In a related development, Gov. Oborevwori also briefed the State Advisory and Peace Building Council and urged them to talk to the people on the need to maintain peace across the state.

He said government would not allow trouble makers to dissuade investors from coming to invest in the state, adding that sustainable peace was needed to attract investors to the state.

Chairman of the Council, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, lauded the governor for his efforts at ensuring peace and security across the state, adding that the Council members supported the peace building moves of the governor.

He, therefore, appealed to communities across the state to give peace a chance for the overall growth and development of the state.

Ifeanyi Olannye

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